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Marion County, Indiana

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Transparency grading process
Marion County is one of 92 counties in Indiana. In 1970, the governments of Marion County and Indianapolis were combined into one consolidated government. The city and county share a website and governmental functions.[1] According to the 2010 census, Marion County's population is 903,393.[2]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Indiana city websites

This website was most recently evaluated on 9 March 2013.

The good

  • The website is easy to navigate.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[3]
  • Ethics forms are posted.[4]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 9 years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 9 years.
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[5]
  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 14 years.[6]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2005 are available.[7]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[8]
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the Public Access Counselor. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
    • A public records form is provided by the Public Access Counselor.
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.[9]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[10][11]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.[12]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[13][14]

The bad

  • Lobbying
    • There is no information on government sector lobbying.

Elected officials

City-County Council

City-county council members serve four-year terms. There are 29 members; 25 are elected by districts, and the other four are elected by the county at-large.[3]

In the November 8, 2011 election, Democrats took back the city-county council majority from the Republicans.[15]

Mayor

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R) won re-election in 2011.[15]

Budget

2012 Budget by Department[16]
Department 2010 Actual 2011 Adopted 2012 Introduced
Public Safety $346,772,568 $364,584,411 $356,433,630
Criminal Justice $221,652,272 $221,566,219 $219,664,921
Other Public Services $300,837,068 $260,350,390 $178,942,898
Executive, Legislative, Admin $91,561,193 $85,406,971 $80,104,986
Debt Service $104,237,038 $105,413,910 $106,454,395
Total $1,065,060,140 $1,037,321,901 941,600,829

Taxes

Marion County's income tax rate is 1.62%.[16]

Debt

The consolidated city has $622.7 million in unrestricted debt, mostly from pension and post-employment benefit obligations.[1]

Economic development

Mass-transit system

Mayor Greg Ballard has proposed increasing the mass-transit system in the Indianapolis area, seeking support from state lawmakers.[17]

Indiana Transparency Portal

The Indiana State Auditor has launched an Indiana Transparency Portal (ITP), containing budget and financial information for local governments. The interactive report-builder page offers a range of information. Users can find financial data for a county, municipality or other unit of government.[18]

Accuracy

Because Marion County and Indianapolis have a unified government, it is difficult to compare their unified budget to the ITP database, which has separate information for counties and cities. According to the ITP, Marion County's budget expenditures for 2012 are $293,569,847 and revenues are $305,097,137.[18] Data for the City of Indianapolis does not appear to be available.

External links


References